She asked a sold-out crowd at Ford Field to honor Franklin with a moment of silence.
“Last week we lost an irreplaceable force,” she told fans, according to outlets. “Aretha Franklin did so much for music, she did so much for women’s rights, she did so much for civil rights.”
Swift, who was once overwhelmed by Franklin singing a soulful “Happy Birthday” to her, appeared determined to make sure that the memory of the diva took center stage during her concert. Franklin died on Aug. 16 at age 76 after battling pancreatic cancer.
“She was one of those people where no matter what you said, no matter what glowing positive thing you said about her, it would be an understatement,” Swift said. “Words could never, ever describe how many things she did in her lifetime that made our world a better place. And this is her home.”
Mourners attended a public viewing of Franklin’s body on Tuesday at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. A private service is scheduled for Friday.
“I would like it if we could have a moment of silence so that every single one of us could reflect on our love and respect for her and everything that she did in her life,” Swift said. “So if we could please cut the lights, we’ll have a moment of silence for Aretha.”
When the moment passed, Swift said: “We love you, Aretha.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly named the day of Franklin’s death.